Tuesday Sep 03, 2019. 15:31
On the 29th August, the Spanish professional football league launched the season with an exclusive and interactive event at The Capital Empire. During this event, those in attendance were informed about all the 2019/20 season developments, while ensuring the showcase offered media an opportunity to engage and learn from former Bafana Bafana and LaLiga footballer, Nasief Morris.
The new season may have just started and only in its third matchday, but we have already seen giants rattled, newly promoted teams stronger than most expected and also had a peek at a few blossoming football gems waiting to pen their name in the glorified LaLiga history books.
As with each season, LaLiga Santander welcomes new global football stars into the fold, and this year the league welcomes stars such as FC Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong, Joao Felix Atletico de Madrid’s Portuguese sensation at the same time keeping LaLiga stars in the shape of Lionel Messi, Koke and Sergio Ramos.
LaLiga Africa Managing Director, Antonio Barradas kicked off the day’s activities, welcoming media to the 2019/20 LaLiga Santander launch and sharing his thoughts about the new season.
“We look forward to the new season for local activations and importantly the football itself. We have already seen some surprising results and great goals in just a few matchdays, that can only mean this going to be another season filled with weekly entertainment and fun, and uplifting activations for LaLiga fans in the many corners of South Africa and Africa.”
A partner of LaLiga, Budweiser, was also represented on the day by their team in Africa who took the opportunity to showcase their sponsorship offering by enlightening the media regarding their global and African plans in addition to revealing their exciting campaigns and activations for football fans all around Mzansi.
While partners such as Budweiser and the official new season ball designed by PUMA for both LaLiga Santander and LaLiga SmartBank, LaLiga’s Segunda División, were exhibited during the event, additional features such as a new anthem, composed by Emmy Award-winning composer Lucas Vidal; newly-promoted sides Osasuna, Granada and Mallorca plus the most advanced broadcast technology were also in discussion.
Enrique Suay, LaLiga’s Global Network Delegate in South Africa, explains, “One of the main catalysts for LaLiga’s recent trajectory and growth is the high-tech advancements clubs have adopted, this has enabled us to reach 2.7 billion fans around the world, ensuring LaLiga offers leading broadcast technology to everyone.”
In Africa specifically, LaLiga has always had a footprint, embracing footballing talents from as far as up North of the continent as Algeria – home to Aïssa Mandi, recent 2019 AFCON winner as well as Real Betis defender – to the South of Africa, in Mzansi.
To bring the Spanish league closer to home, LaLiga South Africa brought out Bafana Bafana legend and LaLiga player, Nasief Morris. The former Recreativo de Huelva and Racing Santander defender also took the time to share his Spanish experiences with sports media, answering questions about his career, the ups and downs of life after football as well as advised current and aspiring professional footballers.
“Growing up in Mitchell’s Plain was very tough and that built my character, the same would go for your Benni’s (McCarthy), Quinton Fortune, Steven Pienaar and Mbazo (Aaron Mokoena). They all had a good career in Europe and some, like me, in LaLiga and most of them grew up in a place like my town. So, anyone can make it with the right attitude, hard work and belief in themselves.” Says, Nasief Morris.
He adds, “Our country is a football-loving country and with more of our talented youngsters making their way into the first and second divisions of leagues in Europe, it is a matter of time until we see another starlet plying his trade in the Spanish league. A part of LaLiga is also based in South Africa now, you’ll never know what can happen.”